Determination of the Effects of Local and Systemic Iron Excess on Lateral Root Initiation in Arabidopsis thaliana   

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Original research article

A brief version of this protocol appeared in:
Plant Physiology
Dec 2015


Root system architecture depends on nutrient availability. A symptom of iron (Fe) toxicity in plants is stunted root growth, yet little is known about the effects of excess Fe on lateral root (LR) development. To better understand how nutrient signals are integrated into root developmental programs, we investigated the morphological response of Arabidopsis thaliana root systems to Fe by testing homogeneous supply and localized Fe supply treatment.

Keywords: Arabidopsis, Fe toxicity, Lateral root, Localized iron supply, Homogeneous iron supply


A localized supply of nutrients regulates lateral root elongation and/or lateral root density in Arabidopsis thaliana. Lateral root formation is affected by nutrients at different developmental stages (e.g., initiation versus elongation) and in a nutrient-specific manner (Li et al., 2011; Giehl et al., 2012). Iron toxicity as a syndrome in plants is typically associated with an excessive amount of the ferrous form (the Fe2+ ion) in the soil (Vigani, 2012). Iron toxicity symptoms vary with cultivars and are characterized by a reddish-brown, purple bronzing, yellow, or orange discoloration of the lower leaves and a stunted root growth. The presence of the Fe2+ ion is increased by low pH and anoxic conditions, and there is an increasing presence in vertically lower strata (Becker and Asch, 2005; Li et al., 2016). We describe a detailed pipeline used for localized iron supply in Arabidopsis grown in vitro which we validated in Arabidopsis (Li et al., 2015a; 2015b and 2016).

Copyright: © 2017 The Authors; exclusive licensee Bio-protocol LLC.
How to cite:  Readers should cite both the Bio-protocol article and the original research article where this protocol was used:
  1. Li, G., Zhang, L. and Shi, W. (2017). Determination of the Effects of Local and Systemic Iron Excess on Lateral Root Initiation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Bio-protocol 7(13): e2387. DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.2387.
  2. Li, G., Song, H., Li, B., Kronzucker, H. J. and Shi, W. (2015). Auxin Resistant1 and PIN-FORMED2 Protect Lateral Root Formation in Arabidopsis under Iron Stress. Plant Physiol 169(4): 2608-2623.

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